Rather than sleeping on the floor (furniture)

This collection encapsulates much of what makes Nina’s style so challenging and bold. The work was commissioned in 2009 by Illustrative a website that showcases fresh, innovative and new design, and Cult Work. The purpose of the competition was to celebrate the centenary of the Italian car manufacturer, Alfa Romeo. Nina had spent a month of frantic activity and considerable financial expense to interpret the design brief. In her wallpaper and ceramics she creates a complex swirl of action and movement in which she juxtaposes the hard, metallic, powerfully male automobile against the softer, more sexual and provocative female figures who tangle the design. She explores the car as an extension of male power that impacts forcefully on its environment. Her work fearlessly explores the negative impact of the automobile. For example, she transposes the Alfa Romeo snake logo into a human intestine, expelling faeces. In the accompanying collection of ceramic lampshades, cups and bowls, female figures and phallic cars dissolve into one another and are absorbed into the structure of the object.

Ironically, although perhaps unsurprisingly, although Nina worked with many of the unspoken, subliminal values and images that are crucial to the success of car advertising – power, masculinity, sexual dominance and sexual prowess – the explicitness and exaggeration of Nina’s interpretation was too bold and unsettling for Alfa Romeo. They withdrew support for the project, leaving Nina considerably out of pocket and demoralised, but artistically invigorated by the design process itself. The project crystallised in her mind the difficulty that she faces when trying to make her frequently difficult work commercial, but the experience also resulted in the birth of a new style of art. The dense, complete coverage of a surface that she created for this project was to reappear in much of the art that followed on from it and has become a hallmark of her design technique.

Hand printed leather and embossing on leather by hand. Nina Levett’s design for the Rudolf Budja Galerie in Salzburg, Austria.

Hand printed leather and embossing on leather by hand. Nina Levett’s design for the Rudolf Budja Galerie in Salzburg, Austria.

NOW. My paintings are exhibited ca. 5 mins. from St. Stephen’s cathedral right in the centre of Vienna.

Come and see my work in the WOKA LAMPS VIENNA shop display (address: Weihburggasse 12, 1010 Vienna).



Art Nouveau and Vienna workshop, designer- and architectural-concepts – hand-crafted reproductions of exclusive lamps and lights – original antiques and art objects of the 19th and 20th centuries

WOKA LAMPS VIENNA® is the owner of the original manufacturing tools and equipment of the period the lamps were designed, press tools, casting moulds, torsion meters and such like, thus enabling exact and authentic reproduction of the designs as they had originally appeared.

The lamps are now hand-crafted in limited numbers in Vienna. Solid brass is mostly the exclusive manufacturing material. The surface may be polished brass, nickel plated or lacquered in any style.

Each one of the massive cast elements of these lamps is manually moulded in sand. After casting, the mould is used up and has to be replaced.

The smooth tubes are passed through old moulding tools to obtain the required profile.

The glasses are hand-blown. In order to obtain the desired form, they are blown into a wet, constantly turning wooden mould.

Similar to hand-crafted WOKA LAMPS my modular paintings are handmade and differ from industrial production even though the glossy finishing seems almost perfect.